Back To School: Who’s Your Child’s Advocate When You’re Not There?

school

Dare I even utter the words… the end of summer is upon us already? Crazy to even think about it, but here we are again: the list of needed school supplies, uniforms, lunch boxes and back packs! It’s the same routine this time every year. But maybe, for some, this year is a bit different. Maybe it’s the first year of High School? Perhaps you’ve recently moved and it’s a new town and school altogether? Or maybe this summer’s excitement included a Celiac diagnoses or other food intolerance/allergy? Regardless, for some, this school year will bring a new level of stress… not just for the children, but for the parents. too!

What’s a parent to do? Your child now has Celiac disease and you’re about to send them off to essentially be by themselves for 7 hours, unsupervised, in a building with countless others who have no idea what “silly-axe” is, right? The images in your head are insane! I know. Lisa and I had them, too. You’ve finally just figuring out how to deal with this crazy new food thing and now it’s time to send them off on their own!

OK, lets reel it back in a bit. The reality is you can’t be with your child every moment of the day. But, you can make a stressful situation more manageable with a little preparation and assistance from a few trusted people. Unless your child is old enough to advocate for themselves, it’s pretty easy to determine who those folks are in a school setting. When Lisa and I first faced this very issue we identified the people who were going to be with our child the most… the teacher. Perfect! But is that enough? In most situations, every year your child gets a new teacher, so that means reeducating a new teacher every year to the needs of your child. While this is necessary by default, we found that having the school nurse on your advocacy team is one of the best decisions you could make. The school nurse will be the consistency you need in the school setting from year to year and can be a valuable resource for other school staff to go to for information or assistance in your absence. Not to mention, having that consistency will bring a sense of comfort for your child knowing they have someone they can trust available to them if they need assistance.

Education. That is the biggest tool you have in your arsenal to combat Celiac disease in the school setting. From the beginning of the school year, ask to meet with your child’s teacher right away to discuss, in great detail, what Celiac disease means for your child. If you can get the school nurse involved in that meeting, that’s even better! Otherwise, plan on a separate meeting to secure that team member! As your child continues their career as a student, you’ll be able to use the school nurse and past teachers to help educate others as you move forward. It’s a brilliant scheme!

Now, this isn’t going to be a one and done educational session. As you know, Celiac education is an ever evolving process. Learn as you go and pass it on! Stay in constant communication with your child’s teacher and encourage room moms/dads to keep you in the Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 9.58.48 AMloop with class activities involving food. Create a plan where you can keep gluten free treats in the classroom for parties or other special occasions. We sent in Udi’s gluten free cupcakes and the staff agreed to stash them in the teacher’s lounge freezer for those days when a fellow student brought in birthday cupcakes! A flawless plan!

It’s plans like this that help keep your child from feeling, well… like an outcast! I hate to use that description, but I think you understand my point. No child likes to be labeled! So the more you can do to make every possible situation feel normal the better! A Celiac diagnoses is a huge, life changing event. We never want to make our children feel different on purpose, but sometimes its out of our control. We’ll just have to create a new normal! Best of luck in the new school year!

Have questions? Contact us below… we’d love to hear from you!

Snyder of Berlin® Celebrates Celiac Awareness Month With Gluten-Free Chips

Snyder of Berlin (PA) makes potato chips. When I read the packaging on the chips that were sent to us for tasting, I immediately associated them with the pretzel people! Turns out they’re two different companies… well, now it is. The Snyder family started making potato chips in their Pennsylvania home in the 1920’s. As the company grew, so did the philosophical mindset of the family run business, and in the late 1940’s the company split to form a pretzel manufacturing business, Snyder of Hanover (PA). I had no idea this was the case until i started researching for this blog post. Funny how I’ve seen both products side by side in the snack aisle and just assumed they were from the same company!

Anyway, our friends at Snyder of Berlin were kind enough to send us a few varieties of their chips in their newly designed bags (see below). We brought them to a BBQ at a friends house and they were a huge hit… and EVERY bag is labeled gluten free! We wanted to share with this with our followers and let you know that these are a thumbs up purchase, especially with the holiday weekend coming up. Below is a press release sent to us… its a quick read that gives you info on the many different style chips they have to offer. Snyder of Berlin offers many other products, but we are just focusing on the chips because they are gluten free. Check them out… good stuff!

image056BERLIN, PA (May, 2015) – Snyder of Berlin®, a leading snack company which produces chips, cheese snacks, popcorn, and more, is debuting a full line of new and revitalized hometown packaging in an array of new sizes for its potato chip line. Snyder of Berlin is proud to honor Celiac Awareness month this May, since every one of their many delicious flavors is Gluten-Free. Just in time for summer, including Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day, Snyder of Berlin®, products will be shipped in Patriotic boxes that will be on display in supermarkets, convenience stores and mass market retailers.

The diverse product line is now available in NEW 2.75 oz.; 6.75/7 oz., 9.5 oz. and 15 oz. Party Size. The new extended packaging pays homage to Berlin, Pennsylvania with eleven flavors each featuring a different landscape or location. Snyder of Berlin offers a full range of snacks using locally grown ingredients. The snacks have a fresh taste and still offer small town pride which is crafted in every bag of Snyder of Berlin. Snyder of Berlin has been made in the Laurel Highlands since 1947. The products can be found in supermarkets, convenience, mass market, club and specialty stores or purchased online at www.snyderofberlin.com

Consumers can still expect the same great taste they know and love from Snyder of Berlin. Suggested retail prices are: $1.49 for the 2.75 oz., $2.50 for the 6.75/7 oz., $4.29 for the 9.5 oz. and $4.99 for the 15 oz. party size. The Snyder of Berlin® potato chips are available in Original, Bar-B-Q, Honey Bar-B-Q, Sweet and Sassy Bar-B-Q, No Salt, Vlasic Dill Pickle, Salt & Vinegar, Cheddar, Sour Cream, Rippled and Wavy. A majority of Snyder of Berlin chips are Gluten-Free; always check the bag for Gluten-Free claims.

The Barn photo seen front and center on each package reminds consumers of the barns seen dotting the landscape throughout the Berlin, PA area. Different flavors of Snyder of Berlin chips feature information panels of unique locations throughout Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands.

The unique locations featured on the flavors include:

image057Ohiopyle Falls, featured on Snyder of Berlin® Original Potato Chips, is 38 Miles from Snyder of Berlin. At the tiny town of Ohiopyle, the rushing river drops 20 feet over a wide sandstone ledge. During special events, Ohiopyle Falls is open to thrill-seeking kayakers.

 

 

image059The Wolf Rocks, as seen on the Snyder of Berlin® Original Bar-B-Q Potato Chips, in Linn Run State Park is 27 miles from Snyder of Berlin. Wolf Rocks is just one of many sandstone outcrops above 2,500 ft. From many perches along the summit of Laurel Ridge, the skyline of Pittsburgh is visible-nearly 50 miles away.

 

 

image061The Great Allegheny Passage Bike Trail, shown on the Snyder of Berlin® Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips, is 15 miles from Snyder of Berlin. The GAP Trail connects Pittsburgh, PA and Cumberland, MD with a nearly-level 150 miles of biking and hiking trail throughout the Appalachian Mountains.

 

image063The Somerset Historical Center, displayed on the Snyder of Berlin® Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips, is 15 miles from Snyder of Berlin. The Somerset Historical Center is a 150-acre museum that preserves the history of rural life in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

 

 

image065The Lower Humbert Bridge, exhibited on the Snyder of Berlin® Honey Bar-B-Q Potato Chips, is 27 miles from Snyder of Berlin. Pennsylvania has the most covered bridges remaining in the US including the Lower Humbert Bridge. The Lower Humbert Bridge was built in 1891 and crosses Laurel Hill Creek in Lower Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County.

 

image067Seven Springs Mountain Resort, as shown on Snyder of Berlin® Rippled Potato Chips, is 24 miles from Snyder of Berlin®. A mountain resort, this all-season go-to destination features an awe inspiring 750 foot vertical drop, 33 slopes and trails, 7 terrain parks and 11 lifts. In the summer season, people enjoy fishing, hiking, luxurious spas and more.

 

image069Fort Ligonier, captured on Berlin® Sweet ‘N Sassy BBQ Potato Chips, is 32 miles from Snyder of Berlin. This historic area offers a glimpse into American history, with a reconstructed fort showcasing the 18th century, complete with authentic rare artifacts in the museum. In October, the Fort Ligonier Days festival is held in the neighboring town.

 

image071Fallingwater, showcased on Berlin® Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips, is 41 miles from Snyder of Berlin®. Designed in 1935 by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this stunning location boasts a structure growing over the falls, and is a true union of art and nature. Local sandstone and dramatic cantilevers helped create the historic house, complete with original furnishings entrusted in 1963 to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

 
image073Beam Rocks, featured on Berlin® No Salt Added Potato Chips, is 22 miles from Snyder of Berlin. Located along the magnificent ridges of Laurel Highlands, the Beam Rocks on Laurel Ridge feature a 90-foot cliff, and offers breathtaking views and opportunities for climbing adventures. A true mix of nature and adventure, Beam Rocks is for outdoor enthusiasts.

 

image075PowderMill Nature Reserve, highlighted on Berlin® Vlasic Dill Pickle Potato Chips, is 32 miles from Snyder of Berlin. This environmental research center is a quiet refuge, welcoming scientists, students and families interested in the natural world. A perfect place to explore, bird-watch or simply enjoy nature.

 

 

image077High Point Lake, displayed on Berlin® Wavy Potato Chips, is 23 miles from Snyder of Berlin. Mount Davis soars to 3,213 feet and is the site of Pennsylvania’s highest elevation. The lookout tower offers stunning views of the vista, including a view of three states. Near the pristine summit is the 334 acre High Point Lake, stocked with 8 species of game fish.

 

 

Need a last minute Mother’s Day gift idea? Why not breakfast in bed with a special touch!

Looking for a last minute Mother’s Day gift idea? Why not serve mom breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day with gluten free Jarlsberg® Cheese! Our friends at Jarlsberg asked us to share their latest press release with you. Check them out!

Darien, CT (May, 2015) – Jarlsberg® Cheese, the nationally recognized premium brand of cheese, invites you to celebrate Mother’s Day by surprising mom with breakfast in bed. No matter the age, your children can surprise mom with a home-made breakfast fit for a queen, with the natural wholesome taste of Jarlsberg® Cheese.

image002Jarlsberg® Cheese is perfect for making family memories, with a Mother’s Day breakfast made by mom’s favorite little hands. Serve mom her favorite omelet, filled with Jarlsberg® Cheese and mom’s favorite sautéed vegetables, bacon, or other ingredients. Making fresh quiche, hot from the oven, is easy as pie, when you mix eggs with cream and shredded Jarlsberg® Cheese.

“What better way to show mom you care than by pampering her with breakfast in bed, made with wholesome and delicious Jarlsberg® Cheese,” says Deb Seife General Manager Marketing. “Just let her sleep late first!”

Jarlsberg® Cheese is available nationwide in the specialty cheese case in grocery retailers, and comes in pre-sliced packages, or sliced at the deli counter, and is also available in club stores. There is a Jarlsberg® Cheese to celebrate Mother’s Day for every palate:

• Jarlsberg® Cheese is famous for its characteristic mild, sweet and nutty taste and its large round holes.
• Jarlsberg® Cheese Lite has the same mild, nutty flavor as regular Jarlsberg® Cheese with 50% less fat and 30% fewer calories, than regular Swiss cheese. This low-fat variety of Jarlsberg® Cheese original has the characteristic large round holes, with a lower fat content – perfect for those days when you crave the sweet, nutty delights of Jarlsberg® Cheese but need to watch your diet.

• Jarlsberg® Hickory Smoked Cheese has a piquant smoky taste, and like most smoked foods has a darker, browner surface. Jarlsberg® Hickory Smoked Cheese is cold smoked over smoldering, hickory chip embers, this Hickory smoked flavor will enhance your cold or hot foods, with its deep, smoky charms.

 

Jules Thin Crust Pizza Opens In Cherry Hill, NJ

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Just when you thought all was lost in the world of gluten free pizza crusts, out of nowhere appears Jules Thin Crust Pizza! Who are these people you ask? Well, it’s like this…

I was driving through the Ellisburg Circle Shopping center (Cherry Hill, NJ), where the new Whole Foods Market is located, and I noticed the new sign. I had to stop to ask the question… “Do you serve gluten free pizza?”. Lisa and I are always seeking out new (and safe!) places to take Giulia and Ava for an occasional meal out. As many of you will agree, not all places that advertise a gluten free menu are knocking our socks off, nor do they really understand the whole cross contamination thing. My timing was impeccable, for this was their Grand Opening day!

cherry_hill_opening_newsI walked in and was greeted by a very pleasant group of employees. The restaurant was very inviting and the front counter was loaded with options! The place smelled awesome! I introduced myself and asked the question… “do you have a gluten free menu?”. Inside my head, I had already answered with what I thought was the inevitable. But I was pleasantly surprised! The gentlemen behind the counter began to explain to me what was available, and that they could prepare vegan pizzas as well! Then I asked the followup “cross-contamination” question which was promptly answered with a clear and concise description of how the gluten free pizza is prepared here. Without prompting, I was then referred to the manager on duty to further discuss the process in detail. I was shocked at the level of understanding here! They are educated and able to meet the needs of folks with celiac disease or gluten intolerance!

“Gluten Intolerant? Vegan? Vegetarian? We have your back. Just look at our menus for all the different toppings we offer on 3 types of organic crusts (including our special gluten-free crust). JULES thin crust is much lower in fat than a conventional pizza. Good for every body and good for the environment. A win win!”

Let me share what I learned: First and foremost… there’s a dedicated prep area including a separate conveyer oven just for gluten free pizzas! Second, the dough is made from buckwheat and is hand rolled at the time of each order! Last, but not least, ALL of the available toppings are gluten free, must be organic, and locally sustainable!

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I had the pleasure of speaking with John Ordway, Co-Owner and “Chief Tasting Officer” of Jules Thin Crust Inc. with his wife Jan, and you can feel his passion for this product resonate through every word. The idea for his restaurants came from something that Lisa and I, and I’m sure many of you as well, share as parents: the desire to find a safe and healthy place to eat with your children. That’s a unique undertaking for those with food restrictions like us. So the fact that the Ordway’s had the foresight to include gluten free options on their menu, with no family history of Celiac disease or a medically diagnosed need to eat a gluten free diet to influence their decision, speaks volumes to their desire to provide healthy eating options in a fast food setting.

It took 8 years to develop their gluten free crust, relying on family friends who have Celiac disease to give the final verdict. Buckwheat was the answer! Locally sourced in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, they get their supplies from a bakery called The Grain Exchange (the California restaurants are using a brown rice based recipe for their crusts). Buckwheat, which is not a grain at all, contains all of the 8 essential amino acids, is high in lysine, rich in Vitamin B, as well as magnesium, zinc, and copper. It may also lower glucose levels and lower blood pressure and reduces cholesterol.

The end result is a product that needs promoting. This is the first “gluten free” pizza we’ve had that wasn’t (A:) made on a frozen crust, (B:) crumbled when you picked it up, or (C:) tasted like cardboard! It is delicious! It acts like pizza dough so you can fold it in half, it doesn’t stick to your teeth, and it reheats incredibly well! Many of our followers know that we rely heavily on our daughter Giulia’s opinion when it comes to rating gluten free food. Never have we seen a critique from her like this. When I asked what she thought after her first bite, she looked over with wide eyes and said (pizza still in mouth) “my God…” followed by two thumbs up. Then silence… until she finished eating.

 

Superbowl Weekend! Here’s Our Top Picks For Gluten Free Beer

628x471Whats a party without a ice cold beer? Probably one of the biggest transitions people with Celiac disease have is finding a gluten free beer that’s even remotely close to what they used to drink before being diagnosed. Well, guess what!?! stone-delicious-ipaThe brewing industry is catching on and they are producing some really good stuff! Here’s our top picks for gluten free and crafted to remove gluten offerings for your Super Bowl party. It should be noted that while “crafted to remove gluten” beers may be safe to consume if you are gluten intolerant, those diagnosed with Celiac disease should exercise caution when consuming anything other that certified gluten free alcoholic beverages.

Enjoy! Please drink responsibly.

Gluten Free

  1. Glutenberg India Pale Ale (IPA)
  2. Glutenberg American Pale Ale
  3. Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Tweason’ale
  4. Lakefront Brewery New Grist Pilsner

Crafted to Remove (Reduce) Gluten

  1. Stone Brewery Co. Delicious IPA
  2. Omission India Pale Ale
  3. Omission Pale Ale
  4. Daura Damm Lager

 

Gluten Free Stash – revisited! Pack gluten free snacks when traveling!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! From our gluten free family to yours, we want to wish you a happy and safe holiday with your family and friends!

Turnpike pile upIt’s the busiest travel day of the year! The holidays are upon us… and so is another winter storm! Unbelievable, right? Thousands of people will be traveling in this mess along the East Coast today. Whether you’re flying or driving, you can expect delays. But are you prepared? I mean really prepared?

Back in February of this year we did a blog post about being prepared with a “GF Go Bag” when traveling. We did this to get people thinking about what they would do if they were stuck in traffic, at an airport, a train station… anywhere where there is a limited (or even non existent!) availability of gluten free food. We wanted to revisit this story as a reminder to all to plan ahead. Expect the unexpected and remember to pack a few gluten free snacks, something to drink, etc. so that if you do find yourself in this situation you’ll be OK.

How do you prepare for gluten free travel? Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

2014 Gluten Free Candy List! Be prepared for Halloween!

It’s almost Halloween! This is probably the most overwhelming time of year for the parents of kids who are newly diagnosed with Celiac disease. Well, at least it was for us! But, thanks to our wonderful gluten free community, we’re able to share with you an updated list of gluten free treats to help decipher what’s safe and what’s NOT ok to eat. We felt this information was too important and wanted to share it, so we compiled this list from several gluten free Halloween-Pumpkin-Wallpaper-02advocate sources, including Celiaccentral.org, Surefoodsliving.com, glutenfreenourishme.com, and glutenaway.blogspot.com. We want to thank them for being advocates for Celiac awareness! Please check them out!

We hope you find this to be helpful. FYI, gluten free labeling changes often based on product ingredients and supplier availability. What was once labeled or thought to be gluten free, may in fact no longer be safe. The point is, be vigilant. Educate yourself. This list may be helpful to you in a pinch, but it should not diminish the need to research things and verify them yourself. Most food manufacturers have a customer service phone number listed on their packaging or on their website. Call and ask the questions. That’s what it’s there for. I have never had a bad experience calling for information. I may not always get the answer I wanted, but I’ve never been brushed off either!

Happy Halloween! Stay safe and enjoy the fun and excitement! Here’s the list:

  • 3 Musketeers fun sizeHalloween-Candy 1
    3 Musketeers Mint with dark chocolate
  • A
  • -Act II Popcorn Balls
    -Albert’s Gummy Eyeballs
    -Albert’s Iced Halloween pops – Alien Pop, Baseball Pop, Basketball Pop, Boo Pop, Carousel Pop, ColorBlaster Pop, Football Pop, Happy Heart Pop, Hoppin’ Pop, Lickin’ Lips Pop, Lolliday Pop, Lollinotes, Pop-A-Bear, Soccer Pop, Alien Glow Pop, Buggin’ Glow Pop, Burstin Bits, and
    -Almond Joy
    -Altoids (except for Altoids Smalls Peppermint)
    -Amanda’s Own Confections Chocolate shapes and chocolate lollipops
    -Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit snacks
    -Applehead, Grapehead, Cherryhead
  • B
  • -Baby Ruth original and fun size
    -Barrels of Candy
    -Bazooka Big Mix (includes bubble gum, bubble gum filled candy, candy chews, and bubble gum filled lollipops)
    -Bazooka Ring Pops
    -Bazooka Push Pops
    -Bazooka Baby Bottle Pops
    -Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot Wicked Webs Berry Wave mini feet
    -Betty Crocker Halloween fruit flavored snacks, including Fruit Gushers, Fruit Roll–ups, and Mini Rolls
    -Bit O Honey
    -Big Blow Bubblegum
    -Black Forest Gummy Tarantulas
    -Black Forest Gummy Fun Bugs Juicy Oozers
    -Bubbly lollipop and gum
    -Butterfinger bar, original and fun size
  • C
  • -Cadbury Adams Swedish Fish
    -Cadbury Adams Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Extreme
    -Candy Checkers, Target Brand
    -Caramel Apple Pops (made by Tootsie Roll)
    -Charleston Chew original and fun size
    -Charms Blow Pops and Blow Pop Minis – may contain milk or soy
    -Charms Candy Carnival Package – Blow Pops, Sugar Babies, Zip a Dee mini pops, Sugar -Daddy, Pops, Sugar Mama Caramel, Tear Jerkers sour bubble gum, Blow Pop Bubble – may contain milk or soy
    -Charms Fluffy Stuff Spider Web cotton candy
    -Chewy Atomic Fireballs
    -Chewy Lemonheads and Friends
    -Chupa Chups Fruit Lollipops
    -Circus Peanuts by Spangler
    -Clark Bars
    -Colombina Scary Eyeballs bubblegum
    -Colombina Fizzy Pops
    -Comix Mix Candy Sticks – Tom and Jerry, Flintstones, Scooby
    -Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Popeye
    -Cracker Jack caramel coated popcorn and peanuts
    -Crispy Cat Mint Coconut Candy Bar
    -Crispy Cat Toasted Almond Candy Bar
    -Crispy Cat Chocolate Marshmallow Candy Bar
  • D
  • -Disney Halloween Candy Mix – jelly beans, gummies, candy bracelets and characters from Cars, Tinkerbell and Toy Story
    -Dots Gumdrops – including Candy Corn Dots, Ghost Dots, and Bat Dots
    -Dove pieces – Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate, Caramel, milk Chocolate
    -Dubble Bubble bubblegum
    -Dum Dum Chewy Pops
    -Dum Dum Lollipops (including Shrek Pops)
  • F
  • -Farley’s Kiddie Mix – Smarties, SweetTarts, Now and Later, Jaw Breakers, Super Bubble and Lolli-pops
    -Ferrara Pan Caramels
    -Ferrara Pan Lemonhead & Friends candy mix – including Applehead, Cherryhead, Grapehead, Chewy Lemonhead & Friends, Chewy Atomic Fireball, and Red Hots
    -Florida’s Natural Healthy Treats Nuggets, Sour String, Fruit Stiks
    -Fright Fingers Popcorn Kit
    -Frankford’s Bugs Gummy Candy
    -Frankford’s Gummy Body Parts
    -Frankford’s Marshmallow Pals
    -Fun Dip
    -Fun Dip Sour
  • G
  • -Game Night boxes of candy game pieces (includes Operation, Sorry!, Monopoly, Life, and Clue)
    -Goldenberg’s peanut chews
    -Goobers
    -Grave Gummies (Yummy Gummies)
    -Gummy Brush Paint Shop
    -Gummy Pirate Choppers
  • H
  • -Haribo Gold-Bears
    -Heath milk chocolate English toffee bar and snack size – contains almonds
    -Hershey’s Bliss (Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Milk Chocolate with –Meltaway Center, White Chocolate with Meltaway Center, Milk Chocolate with Raspberry Meltaway Center, Dark Chocolate)
    -Hershey’s Kisses (Candy Corn flavored candy, Caramel, Caramel Apple flavored filling, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate Meltaway, Pumpkin Spice, Hugs, Hugs & Kisses, Cherry Cordial Creme, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Special Dark)
    -Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars and snack-size bars
    -Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds snack-size bars
    -Hershey’s Nuggets (Milk Chocolate, Milk Chocolate with Almonds, Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Almonds, Special Dark, Special Dark with Almonds)
    -Hot Tamales
    -Hot Tamales Spray
    -Hubba Bubba Gum
    -Humphrey Popcorn Balls
  • I
  • -Ice Cream Dipper (Blue Raspberry, Strawberry)
  • J
  • -Jelly Belly beans – gluten–free, dairy–free
    -Jolly Rancher hard candy and Doubles Candy
    -Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Stix, Lollipops and Fruit Chews
    -Jr. Mints fun size – may contain eggs
    -Just Born Jelly Beans
    -Just Born marshmallow treats
  • K
  • -Kellogg’s Spongebob Squarepants fruit flavored snacks
    -Kraft Caramels
    -Kraft Jet–Puffed Boo Mallows and Ghost Mallows
    -Kraft Swedish Fish
    -Kraft Sour Patch Kids and Sour Patch Extreme
  • L
  • -Laffy Taffy Plain, Stretchy & Tangy and Rope
    -Lemonheads
    -Lifesavers
    -LifeSavers Gummies including Big Ring Gummies, Sweet ‘n’ Sour, and Scary Assortment
    -Lollipop Paint Shop
  • M
  • -M&M’s – original, peanut, peanut butter
    -Mars M&M’s – except pretzel M&M’s
    -Mars Dove chocolate products
    -Mars Munch Nut bar
    -Mars Snickers, Snickers Dark bars, fun size and mini’s – may contain almonds
    -Mary Janes
    -Mallo Cup
    -Marvel Heroes Candy Sticks (Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine)
    -Mega Warheads
    -Melster Peanut Butter Kisses
    -Milk Duds
    -Mike and Ike
    -Mike and Ike Spray
    -Mini Mentos
    -Mini Sour Dudes Straws
    -Monstaz Pops (jack–o–lantern lollipops)
    -Monster Hunt plastic monster eggs filled with candy bones, skulls and pumpkins (made for Target)
    -Mounds
    -Mounds dark chocolate fun size bars
    -Mr. Goodbar
  • N
  • -Necco’s Sky Bar 4 in 1 chocolate bar
    -Necco Wafers
    -Necco Mary Janes
    -Necco Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses – does contain peanuts
    -Necco Sweethearts Conversation Hearts (available for Valentine’s Day only)
    -Necco Canada Mint & Wintergreen Lozenges
    -Necco Haviland Thin Mints and Candy Stix
    -Necco Clark Bars
    -Necco Skybars
    -Necco Haviland Peppermint & Wintergreen Patties
    -Necco Candy Eggs
    -Necco Talking Pumpkins (available at Halloween only)
    -Necco Squirrel Nut Caramels and Squirrel Nut Zippers
    -Necco Banana Split and Mint Julep Chews
    -Necco Ultramints
    -Nestle Milk Chocolate fun size bars
    -Nestle Baby Ruth
    -Nestle Bit–O–Honey
    -Nestle Butterfinger (NOT Butterfinger Crisp or Butterfinger Stixx)
    -Nestle Goobers – does contain peanuts
    -Nestle Nips (both regular and sugar–free)
    -Nestle Oh Henry!
    -Nestle Raisinets – made on equipment that processes peanuts
    -Nestle Sno–Caps
    -Nestle Wonka Pixy Stix
    -Nestle Wonka Laffy Taffy
    -Nestle Wonka Lik–M–Aid Fun Dip
    -Nestle Wonka Spree
    -Nik-L-Nip wax bottles with juice
    -Now and Later
  • O
  • -Oh Henry!
    -Operation Gummy Candy
  • P
  • -Palmer Peanut Butter Cups – does contain peanuts
    -Pay Day peanut caramel bar snack size
    -Peanut M&M’s
    -Pearson’s Bun candy – maple and roasted peanuts
    -Pearson’s Mint Patties,
    -Pearson’s Nut Goodies
    -Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls
    -Peeps Jack–o–lanterns, Ghosts, Peeps Pumpkins and Chocolate Mousse Cats – “Gluten Free”
    -Pez candy – “Gluten Free”
    -Pop Rocks
    -Popcorn Expressions Kettle Corn Snack BagsNo good candy
    -Pixie Stix
    -Pure Fun Halloween Pure Pops
  • R
  • -Rain Blo Bubble Gum Eyes of Terror
    -Raisinets
    -Razzles candy gum
    -Red Hots
    -Reese’s Fast Break candy bars and snack size
    -Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups snack size and miniatures
    -Reese’s Pieces
    -Reese’s Select Peanut Butter Cremes
    -Reese’s Select Clusters
    -Reese’s Whipps
    -Riviera Spooky Candy Rings
    -Rolo chocolate covered caramels
  • S
  • -Sidewalk Chalk
    -Sixlets
    -Skeleton Pops (lollipops)
    -Skittles includes Original, Sour, Wild Berry, Fizzl’d Fruits, and Crazy Core, including fun-size
    -Smarties – (the small pastel–colored candies sold in rolls and made by Ce De). Also Candy Money, Candy Necklace, Easter Smarties, Giant Smarties, Giant Smarties Pops, Love Hearts, Mega Smarties, Smarties in a Pouch, Tropical Smarties, Smarties Double Lollies, Smarties Mega Lollies, Smarties Parties, Smarties Pops, and X-TREME Sour Smarties. Manufacturer states: These products contains NO: gluten, milk, egg, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soy. (US only, NOT gluten-free in Canada).
    -Snickers
    -Snickers Fudge bar
    -Sno-Caps
    -Sno-Cone
    -Soda Pop
    -Sour Patch
    -Spooky Candy Rings (eyeballs, Frankenstein heads and other shapes on rings)
    -Starburst Fruit Chews and fun-size
    -Starburst Gummibursts and Sour Gummibursts
    -Sugar Babies
    -Sugar Daddy Caramel Pops
    -Super Bubble bubble gum
    -Surf Sweets Gummy Worms
    -Surf Sweets Gummy Swirls
    -Surf Sweets Gummy Bears
    -Surf SweetsFruity Bears
    -Surf Sweets Jelly Beans
    -Surf Sweets Sour Worms
    -Surf Sweets Sour Berry Bears
    -Swedish Fish
    -Sweethearts conversation hearts Forbidden Fruits (candy packaging of The Twilight -Saga, New Moon the movie)
    -Sweet’s Candy Corn Taffy
  • T
  • -Tootsie Caramel Apple Pops
    -Tootsie Pops – original and mini
    -Tootsie Rolls Midgies and snack bars
    -Transformers Canpeasron’s salted nut rolldy Mix – gummy shields, fruit chews, candy shields, gum rocks
    -Twist and Glow, Twist and Glow Heart, Twist and Glow Pumpkin
  • W
  • -Warheads – Extreme Sour hard candy and Sour QBZ chewy cubes
    -Wonka Bottlecaps
    -Wonka Chocolate Laffy Taffy
    -Wonka Giant Chewy Nerds Jelly Beans
    -Wonka Giant Pixy Stix
    -Wonka Gobstopper Everlasting
    -Wonka Gobstopper Chewy
    -Wonka Fruit Tart Chews
    -Wonka Fun Dip and Fun Dip Sour
    -Wonka Laffy Taffy Ropes
    -Wonka Mix–Ups
    -Wonka Monster Mix–Ups – SweetTarts Skulls and Bones, Spooky Nerds, Howlin’ Laffy Taffy
    -Wonka Nerds – carry a cross contamination warning on the Spooky Nerds orange and fruit punch flavors
    -Wonka Pixy Stix
    -Wrigley’s Gum
  • X
  • -X–scream Mouth Morphers Fruit Gushers
  • Y
  • -York Peppermint Patties Pumpkins, York Peppermint Patties, York Peppermint Patties Jr’s
  • Z
  • -Zed Candy Skulls and Bones

Wrap up – New Jersey’s Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

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Here’s our wrap up of 2014’s GFAF Expo in Secaucus, NJ. This year’s Expo did not disappoint! Nearly 150 different exhibit tables with food vendors, medical experts, writers, expert presenters… you name it! The Expo floor was a buzz with THOUSANDS of visitors over the two days. We met with so many great people, some old friends we made at last year’s event and many new vendors and followers of our website!

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To try and recap everything we did is nearly impossible. There’s just too much to write about. So we’ve decided to write about our top five picks of the Expo. While we were amazed by the enormity of this event, these five vendors stood out in our eyes and the “Best in Show” for various reasons. While our focus was primarily on gluten free offerings, many of these vendors focused heavily on dairy free, nut free, and soy free as well… just to name a few!

This was our second Expo in as many years. I cannot express to you enough the importance of educating yourself as to what is available in the market place. This Expo is a great opportunity to see whats new… and to try it! I can’t tell you how much money we wasted our first year buying gluten free products for Giulia. We threw a lot of it away. Thousands of dollars wasted because she didn’t like the way it tasted! Now, I contribute some of that to her transition from a gluten world to being 100% gluten free. I get that. But, some of the products we tried in the past were down right awful! What an awesome concept to have the ability to try products BEFORE buying them! The concept of the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo is brilliant in that sense. Now, granted there are a lot of gluten free bakeries at these events, and you really must be careful about trying to replace all gluten products with highly processed gluten free food for fear of other medical conditions because of increased sugar intake. But there is a time and place for these products. We believe everything in moderation is OK. Kids like cake! My point here is there are many other products that are showcased at this Expo; seasonings and sauces, beverages and sports drinks, nutritional supplements, make-up, etc. It’s worth it to attend, trust me.

Now, these five top picks are the products/vendors that most impressed us over our two days at the Expo. We’re passing them on to you because we feel they are great products, not just because Lisa and I loved them, but more importantly 11 year old Giulia loved them as well. So lets get to it! Here’s our top five picks of GFAF Expo 2014 (in no particular order):

IMG_4274SUPERSEEDZ Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds are a no shell, dry roasted, and all natural snack in a bag. These things are amazing and come in several flavors. All of the seasoning used is gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, dairy free, fish free, shellfish free and soy free. Each bag contains five servings with 9 grams of protein and several other key nutrients like zink and iron in each serving. We bought several bags to take home with us, including the Tomato Italiano, Super Spicy, Sea Salt, and Coco Joe. SUPERSEEDZ is located in North Haven, CT and you can see which stores are carrying their products here or order directly from their website.

IMG_4272San-J Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce is naturally brewed with 100% soybeans and no wheat. No artificial preservatives or MSG are added. San-J Tamari is certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, certified kosher by Orthodox Union and is Non-GMO Project verified. Their product line also includes several Asian cooking sauces and salad dressings as well as brown rice crackers and soups. Have you found a gluten free Chinese food restaurant that delivers? Well we haven’t! We started using these sauces with our homemade stir fry dinners and they are amazing! This product is widely available in food stores… get creative and try some! You won’t be disappointed!

DF Mavenslogo “The finest dairy-free ice cream in the world!”. They are not kidding! Do you remember the scene in the Pixar movie “Ratatouille” where the food critic drops his pen and goes into a jaw dropping trance, reminiscing of his childhood in his mothers kitchen, after tasting the ratatouille for the first time? Yeah… it’s like that. DF Mavens has hit a home run here! Choose between ice cream made from almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Oh, and a sugar free offering as well! We tried all of the flavors, one better than the other. I swear to you, at one point Lisa and I stood staring at each other, absolutely speechless! Is it possible that almond milk ice cream is actually superior to actual ice cream?!? I know what I think so you be the judge! DF Mavens is located in New York City and is available at several locations in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. They will also ship it to you directly from their website! DF Mavens is gluten free, dairy free, has no preservatives or cholesterol, and is Kosher.

IMG_4263Way Better Snacks are sprouted chips made from several sources based on the style you like. A full list of their ingredients, including non-GMO corn, is available on their website. We think these are the greatest tasting gluten free chips, hands down. They are available in many food store chains across the country. We happen to buy them at our local Wegmans Food Market. IMG_4269The reason we picked them in our top five is simple. They brought with them two new flavors in their arsenal: Sriracha and Mustard/Onion. Giulia’s favorite has always been the Sweet Chili chips, but when she tried the Sriracha, she started to dance. No kidding! Dancing in the middle of the aisle humming “Mm Hmmmmm, Mm Hmmmmm!”. The chips are really good. We haven’t seen the Sriracha flavor in our store yet, but you can be sure they will be put in the shopping cart when they arrive!

IMG_4267Ian’s Natural Foods, allergy friendly and gluten free. First of all, their website is loaded with information about their products. Extensive! Second, their food is really good! One of Giulia’s favorite foods was onion rings and we could never find a suitable gluten free replacement, until we tried Ian’s Gluten Free Onion Rings! Wow! Crispy, not oily at all. Then we tried their new Italian style croutons. Amazing! Ian’s is a great company that offers a full line of food products that are allergen friendly and are really good!

There you have it! Now go find them and try them. But most importantly, if you have the opportunity to attend the GFAF Expo in a city near you, you have to go. You have know idea what our missing! And, uh, in case it matters to you, the opinions above are ours and ours alone. We like to share things with our gluten free community that we are excited about, especially when it comes to food. Food in a big part of our culture. Now that were gluten free, it’s nice to share when we find a winner in our book. Enjoy!

Final Days: 20% Off Tickets To The NJ Gluten & Allergen Free Expo This Weekend

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Just two days left to get 20% off tickets to the Expo this weekend in Secaucus, NJ. Click on the link to the right for your opportunity to receive a discount from Gluten Free Digest! Don’t miss this great opportunity to meet lots of people from our gluten free community, meet over 150 vendors and try some really great gluten free food, and get educated by some of the best in the industry! Hope to se you there! Look for us wearing our signature black t-shirts with our logo on the front!

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Update: Gluten & Allergen Free Expo Giveaway

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Thanks so much to everyone who contacted us about our free ticket giveaway… WE HAVE OUR WINNERS!

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

But, we’re not done yet! If you’re still interested in going to the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Secaucus, NJ on September 6th and 7th, the Gluten Free Marketing Group has graciously offered a 20% discount on ticket prices for all of our followers when you purchase your tickets here! Just click the link to the right and your discount will be applied automatically to the adult and child ticket prices! Oh, and children under the age of 3 are free!!

Remember, this Expo is the premier gluten and allergen free event in the US and only happens once a year in our area. Don’t miss this great experience! There will be vendors sampling and selling products, a dedicated peanut/nut-free section and free lifestyle classes! Here’s a list of what you can expect:

  • Entry into the 150+ booth vendor fair
  • Valuable coupons at the vendor booths
  • Samples from the vendors
  • Discounted products available for purchase
  • Informative classes related to the gluten and allergen-free lifestyle
  • Free reusable bag to carry your goodies
  • Meet your favorite vendors, authors and bloggers

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Hope to see you there! Look for us wearing our signature black t-shirt with our logo on the front. Make sure you stop us to say hi… we’d love to meet you!